Bioscience company in P.E.I. gets funding boost

Teresa Wright
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Two research students perform tests on plant extracts at the OmniActive Health Technologies facility in Charlottetown. Guardian file photo.

A bioscience company in P.E.I. will be moving forward with research and development of food-based health supplements thanks to a funding boost from the federal government.

OmniActive Health Technologies is getting $343,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) for its work in identifying biologically active ingredients that can be launched in the nutraceutical and functional food ingredients markets.  

Fisheries Minister and Egmont MP Gail Shea and Treasury Board President Tony Clement made the announcement this morning at the OmniActive facility in the P.E.I. Biocommons Park in Charlottetown.

“Our government recognizes the contribution innovative companies like OmniActive Health Technologies make to help create jobs and growth in our region,” Shea said.

“This company is working towards providing an innovative, value-added service to its customers and to strengthening our local economy.”

The main objective of the company is to discover new dietary ingredients, which provide therapies for preventative personal health and wellness solutions.

Their focus is in the areas of eye health, obesity and joint and brain health.

The facility in P.E.I. currently employs five scientists and expects to grow its workforce to 10 in the next three years.

Earlier this year, OmniActive also received a financial contribution of up to $446,551 through the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) industrial research assistance program. The additional investment from ACOA will enable OmniActive Health Technologies to build on the outcomes of the R&D efforts supported by the NRC.

“Funds provided by these federal agencies will help to accelerate discovery and commercialization of innovative products,” said Dr. Jayant Deshpande, president of OmniActive Health Technologies Canada.  

The company’s research and development facility in Prince Edward Island serves as a basis for a North American innovation and discovery-based platform.

OmniActive has a significant presence in these segments of the health supplement market.


Organizations: OmniActive Health Technologies Canada, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Egmont MP Gail Shea and Treasury Board NRC National Research Council of Canada North American

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, P.E.I. Biocommons Park, Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • captain canuck
    July 24, 2013 - 06:43

    This is so funny. You know, if Bill Gates was from PEI, Ralph and Bill would whine about the government funding him. Just to let you know... Bio Vectra received zero funding. It started with private funds and grew on its own. And providing funding to Omni-yadayada is not a bad thing. If it makes the company grow it will create the jobs and the wealth and then the government will make it a few times over in the taxes. Damned taxes. LOL.

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      July 24, 2013 - 14:33

      Canuck, if Bill Gates was from PEI I would leave PEI, so that's all it will take to get rid of me and my comments. You probably think Gates, his wife and foundation and their work are great philanthropic humanitarian gestures AND YOU WOULD BE WRONG. Hey Captain, did you own any of the Microsoft stock that lost 10% of its value last week? Government is not the bank, and as such should stop putting our tax dollars at risk. Banks and private investors are there to provide that, not the gov. I am sick and tired of the gov essentially having to buy any new jobs. This practice seems to be the norm. Look up this term, normalcy bias, as it explains a lot of what has happened to us ... sloooowly, AND TRICKE DOWN ECONOMICS DO NOT WORK, as we have seen over the last 40 years. And Detroit bankruptcy, there goes the city workers pension plans, the budget deficit equals exactly what is in the bank for the pension funds. Where do you think that money will go? Detroit will be the USA CYPRESS model to siphon off the funds to the large offshore banks that Detroit owes the money too. How is that trickle down economics working for them?

    • Captain canuck
      July 24, 2013 - 16:20

      You didn't read what I wrote, BILL. It is not about BILL GATES, and since you thought so, I'll tell you that I consider him hell-spawn. Own stock! Hah. I make $10 an hour. I'm filthy rich now!!! Bwaha.

  • ralph
    July 23, 2013 - 18:20

    so when are they going to pay me back?? why, oh why am I forced to provide for the companies, -- including BioVectra, ---did I get any of the millions Mr. Duffy got when he sold the company?? I think not.---- Why are the politician hell bend on fleecing me to give to somebody else, -- - In the old days somehow companies managed to invent and produce without getting government gifts.

  • alfredd
    July 23, 2013 - 18:15

    Here we go again, --- why can we not stop these stupid give a-ways of our money, - did Tony Clement need a holiday on PEI or why did we pay for him to trot down here?? Re: multiplier effect, - if they left the money with me, I would have spend it on PEI, without ;passing it through that 'hog' that got it.

  • Basic Economics
    July 23, 2013 - 16:38

    People complain about the funding being given to this company. However, this money will be spent on PEI by hiring employees, purchasing materials, etc. so PEI individuals and businesses will also benefit. They in turn will spend what they receive on PEI or pay taxes thereon so the government will recoup some of the money contributed and the trickle down effect, which is part of basic economics, will result in the multiplication of spending of this money on PEI. One only has to look at the success of BioVectra as a bioscience company that started off small and is now employing 200 people on the island and has put a lot more in terms of jobs and spending into the PEI economy than it ever received in government assistance. Apparently these nay sayers don't want government to support any businesses or do any spending in PEI so that businesses will not come to PEI and then these nay sayers will complain about lack of jobs on PEI. The world has changed in the last 149 years since the Fathers of Confederation met on PEI and unless PEI does what the rest of the world is doing then PEI will be left behind. Our economy cannot survive on farming and fishing so we need other industries here on PEI.

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      July 24, 2013 - 14:17

      PLEASE leave PEI behind the rest of the world. Your BASIC ECONOMICS lesson is FLAWED. SURELY you are not inferring that trickle down economics is the reason to justify the giving of public monies to private corporations. Yes they may buy some things local BUT only if it is cheaper. Private business should be kept JUST THAT ... PRIVATE, with no money coming from the public. You say BioVectra is a success and I say it is not. You seem to measure progress with a different ruler than I do. Your progress or success seems to measure success or progress at producing more, larger GDP, sales figures up, etc. etc, where real progress or success is feeding the poor and disenfranchised, inventing free or very low cost individual power sources, freeing the oppressed from great tax burdens, doing away with the current banking system that was built on the British Imperial banking system which got its business practices from the Roman Empire just after it fell. You know, prior to the Roman conquest, it was normal practice to forgive debts after 7 years. Going back to debt forgiveness on a 7 year cycle would be real progress and a great success. We have BANKS to provide loans, and private investors to take risks, why then should the public purse be put at risk since we are not DIRECTLY PARTAKING IN THE PROFITS?

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    July 23, 2013 - 13:56

    I am sick of the patronage. Public money being given to private companies that as ONCE AGAIN stated, will patent the results of the research, then charge us enormous amounts for technology that by rights should belong to the tax payer for footing the bill. WHY DOES GOV KEEP DOING THIS? WHY DO PEOPLE NOT TELL GOVERNMENT THAT THIS PRACTICE IS UNACCEPTABLE? These public / private partnerships are no good for the province, only the corporations. This brings up the question of " Should we be trusting gov to collect and then disburse our hard earned tax money? It seems that they do not do a very good job of caring for the public purse. If they could manage money we would not be in the mess we are in today, but there is money to go to their buddies and friends and party affiliates, but none to keep a hospital open, or a homeless shelter for women. PRIORITIES PRIORITIES. Ask your neighbor if giving this money to this bio firm is what you and your neighbor intended when you paid your tax bill. Part of the reason taxes are so high is so big biz can get an unfair advantage over the regular citizen.

    July 23, 2013 - 12:31

    Once again taxpayers pay private companies to complete research on products that they patent then charge the user 500 per cent mark up. The Canadian way. Corporations get the tax dollars and the consumers get the shaft.

  • Joe Blow
    July 23, 2013 - 10:59

    Too bad they weren't a Murphy's Brewery....they could have gotten a significant amount of money that might actually help. But then again, giving a decent amount of money to bio science would be smart and we know our government doesn't make any smart decisions!!